2014 Thunder Over Louisville Boating Safety Considerations
From U.S. Coast Guard and Thunder Over Louisville Safety
Where to be: Thunder can be enjoyed on the Ohio
upriver of the designated picket line. Boaters can moor upriver of the Big Four
Bridge, but not in the
Where not to be: United States Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Sector
Ohio Valley will establish a special local regulation which closes the Ohio
River to all transiting boat traffic from mile 605 (Portland Canal) to 598.0
(Six Mile Island) from 12:00 p.m. to midnight.
Navigation Channel: The navigable channel is from Kentucky shoreline to the center of the
river. No vessels may anchor or loiter in the channel. Vessels should not block
the marina entrances on either end of Towhead Island.
Picket Line: The Coast Guard will establish a picket line beginning approximately
200 yards up river from the Big Four Railroad Bridge starting at 12:00 p.m. All
spectator boats shall stay up river from the picket line and must stay clear of
the navigable channel. The navigable channel starts at the Kentucky shoreline to the middle of the
river. No vessels my anchor in the channel. There also will be no anchoring on
the Kentucky side from the Big Four Bridge to Towhead
Don't run out of gas! Mariners must
ensure they have enough fuel for the entire day. Local marinas may not be open.
If you plan to purchase fuel en route to Louisville,
call ahead to marinas to be sure they're open. Mariners launching their boats
locally should make appropriate arrangements.
How's the weather? Check the weather and river conditions before
departing home and dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Remember,
April nights on the Ohio River can be cold.
Make Sure You Are Visible: Recreational
vessels can be surprisingly hard to spot on the water, particularly during
twilight, after sunset, or in fog or other conditions of limited
visibility. Recreational vessels are
required to have proper navigation lights, and they must be energized between
sunset and sunrise and during periods of restricted visibility.
How's your anchor? Be sure you have the proper type and size anchor for
your vessel. Check with your dealer if you are unsure. Bring an extra anchor
and lots of line. Makeshift anchors like five-gallon buckets and cinderblocks
will not hold on the bottom of the river.
The river bottom around the Big
is rocky, and it may be difficult to anchor. Be aware of vessels anchored
around you and allow for swing in the anchor line. Think about what you will do
if your line becomes fouled.
Keep your head above water: Kentucky, Indiana, and U.S. law requires you to have
an appropriately sized and readily available life jacket for every adult and
child on the boat. In support of the
ongoing effort to improve boating safety, the Coast Guard now requires that all
children under 13-years of age wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket.
When there's trouble, the worst thing a boater can be
is invisible! Help may be in
sight but if they don't see or hear you, it'll do you no good. You can signal
your need for help by:
Marine VHF Radio on channel 16, the hailing and
Coast Guard approved flares and smoke signals.
A continuous sounding or repeated blasts on a
horn or whistle.
Cell phone call to Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley
Make sure all navigational lights are operational
Clean Boating: Each year millions of pounds of trash is collected from our waterways.
Plastic bottles, food wrappers, cans, styrofoam and cigarette butts are all too
common along our waterways. Besides
being unsightly, this trash is a danger to our marine wildlife. Throwing any kind of trash overboard is a
violation of federal regulations.
Keep it clean: Boaters can help keep our river clean by practicing the following:
Dispose of trash properly in a receptacle back on
approved onboard sanitation device; it is against the law to dispose of
raw sewage overboard.
Fuel carefully and avoid spilling fuel and oil in
the river. Please do not "top off",
as this practice frequently leads to spills.
We said it before, and we'll say it again; just do it!
Observe safety rules at all times: Navigation rules and no wake zones exist to keep
boaters safe; abide by them. You can obtain a copy of the Coast Guard's, "Navigation Rules: International-Inland" by calling the government
printing office at (202) 512-1800.
boat: Smaller vessels are particularly vulnerable to accidents. Wakes from other vessels, wind and current
conditions on the River, and other factors can place small vessels at
risk. Don't overload your vessel, and
return to shore if you are having trouble maintaining control of your vessel –
this is likely a sign that your vessel is too small for the prevailing
conditions and could result in a serious accident.
Take a Safe
Boating Course: The Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Power Squadron
provide safe boating courses for novice and experienced boaters alike. Call the
Coast Guard Auxiliary (502) 459-0287 or the Power Squadron at (502) 241-6851
for more information.
alcohol: Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in
fatal boating accidents; please enjoy Thunder over Louisville this year through responsible
and courteous: There will be a high concentration of boaters
attempting to leave at the same time after the event. Boaters need to take
their time leaving as not to create a wake that may be hazardous to other